Alfa Romeo packs award-winning TwinAir turbo two-banger into MiTo hatchback.
Think of Alfa Romeo and you'll likely imagine a V8 supercar like the 8C Competizione or the turbo four in the upcoming 4C. But the latest offering from the Milanese automaker doesn't have eight cylinders. It doesn't have six, and it doesn't even have four: it only has two. The car in question is the MiTo, and the engine is Fiat Powertrain Technology's award-winning TwinAir. With a turbocharger boosting just 875 cc of displacement, the TwinAir in the MiTo packs just 85 horsepower.
The upshot is exceptional fuel economy, rated at 67.3 mpg on the European Combined Cycle - comparable figures to a hybrid. As a result the TwinAir MiTo qualifies for reduced taxes and insurance rates, and in London it's exempt from the congestion charge levied upon drivers entering the city center. Ultimately the public will determine whether a two-cylinder Alfa Romeo is a real Alfa Romeo at all. But considering the way the TwinAir motor swept the 2011 International Engine of the Year awards, and the positive reviews the smaller Fiat 500 TwinAir has received, we could all very well be in for a surprise.